by Vicky Kaniaru
CLEVELAND, Ga. (TMCNews) — “What are you doing here?” said Robbie Foster, Truett-McConnell trustee and pastor of Hopewell Baptist Church, Gainesville, Ga.
Foster preached in TMC’s chapel service Aug. 30 from 1 Kings 19:9, 13, noting the Prophet Elijah, who had seen God’s extraordinary wonders, but hid from Jezebel, who wanted to kill him.
With a name that means “My God is Jehovah,” Elijah was living in the darkest days of Israel under the rule of King Ahab and his wife, Jezebel, said Foster, who noted that in the previous chapter in 1 Kings, Elijah had just made a definite stand for God on Mount Carmel against the prophets of Baal.
“At that moment, I would say he is walking with a tall order of faith,” Foster said. “I would say he is convinced that God, the only God, Jehovah Yahweh, is the God of Israel.”
However, when Elijah is hiding from Jezebel, he may have felt as if he were standing alone, noted Foster.
“If the days are getting darker, our lights need to get brighter,” said Foster, quoting Adrian Rodgers.
Foster related Elijah’s problems to the audience and added that Elijah was hiding because he was running from his problems, starving spiritually starving, he had forgot his call, and he was disconnected from the Lord, Foster said.
“Why do you think Elijah would be running in this time of his life?” Foster asked. “He forgot about how God had shown up miraculously,” Foster answered.
Like Elijah, many people are “depressed over the things of life and they’re running away from God because they’ve forgotten what God has done in their life,” he said.
“They’ve forgotten the victory that God brought in salvation,” Foster said. “They’ve forgotten the personal relationship. They begin to run, and many people run because they feel failure in their lives.”
Part of the motivation to run is because “you’re looking to other people, [but] you’re not looking at God,” Foster noted. “You’re not looking at Jesus, the author and finisher of your faith. God brought you here with a purpose and a plan; don’t run from it,” he said, adding, “We think that if we don’t address anything it will go away. But what I’ve found is that what you sweep under the carpet will eventually come out.”
“It would be easy to stay on this campus and disconnect from the local church,” Foster said. “There comes a time in your life when you need to know that you’ve been called to a local fellowship—when you need to connect with the body of Christ.”
Citing how God questioned Elijah twice, Foster recounted a professor who once told him that “anytime God asks you something twice, he’s getting your attention.”
Foster advised: “When you get by yourself, you start thinking that you’re the only one who is going through a problem. You’re the only one who has a Jezebel in your life. You’re the one who is going to be defeated.” “Please don’t disconnect from the local [church]. There are no lone rangers in the Kingdom of God; we’re connected.”
Christians, like Elijah, sometimes forget their call, said Foster, noting that Elijah was running from the place considered the mountain of God because he forgot his call.
“The last time I read the Scripture, I found out that we were sent,” Foster said. “I know there is a time for Bible study, and I know there is a time to be connected. But, we’re sent into the world to be a light in the darkness. We are to go into the entire world and preach the Gospel.”
Foster noted how God interrupted Elijah’s escapism by using a still, small voice. “Elijah was still expecting people to respond because of the extraordinary,” Foster said. “It’s the voice of God that convicts people’s sins. It’s the voice of God that arouses us to forsake sin.”
“When you hear God, nobody else can talk you out of it,” said Foster, who added that the still small voice is the same voice that is leading us and guiding us.
“What would be said of this campus if we said this morning that we’re not running from God, but to God?” Foster said. “I want to challenge you this morning, when you don’t think you’re going to make it another day — God sent you here with a plan and purpose. God sent you here victorious. Our God will not fail.”
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